a ghost story

(Welcome to The Soapbox, the space where we get loud, feisty, political, and opinionated about anything and everything. In this edition: how a powerful 2017 film helped one writer grapple with tragedy. This post contains spoilers for A Ghost Story.)

People watch movies for all kinds of reasons. For entertainment, for work, just to kill some time. Sometimes, though, the magic of a great movie can work as comfort for pains big and small, like a cinematic salve for what ails you. Whether you’re fighting the flu or missing a loved one, the right movie can do wonders. A funny comedy, a mindless action movie, an all-time favorite – my personal go-to films in these situations run the gamut from Broadcast News to Slugs, and they never fail to get my mind and spirit back on track.

Well, almost never. I’m a generally chipper guy (with a side of cynicism and a dash of indifference), but while the world at large seems more and more intent on beating us down these days, I can typically push forward and weather the storm unscathed. An exception was born over the past few years, though, and it’s only becoming more common. News of particularly horrific mass shootings just devastates me. A Parisian concert hall, an Orlando night club, a Lafayette movie theater – I grow simultaneously furious, numb, and helpless in my grief for lives cut down in moments of joy, and attempts to distract my thoughts with “entertainment” fail miserably.

Read More »

Cult of Chucky Blu-ray

(Welcome to Not Dead Yet, a feature dedicated to what’s new on Blu-ray and what special features you should be excited about. Because yes, some of us still like to own physical copies of our movies.)

It’s time for another physical media round-up! Look, I get it – you’re trying to declutter, you don’t want a bunch of Blu-ray discs all over your place. “Why buy a physical copy when I can just stream everything?” you might ask. Maybe I’m crazy, but I still think there’s something sacred about physical media. To be able to have the film you want when you want it, no hassle – unless you consider getting up and popping a disc into a player to be a hassle, in which case you’re just being lazy. It’s worth remembering that not every movie is available to stream. And even things that currently are streaming always stand the risk of expiring. That’ll never happen with your physical media.

This week on Blu-ray, there’s a sequel to the longest running horror franchise, a sequel to the lamest running Disney franchise, an existential haunted house movie and the directorial debut of Freddy Krueger. These are the new Blu-ray releases you should check out this week.

Read More »

/Film’s 28 Favorite Movies of 2017 So Far

war for the planet of the apes ceasar and his apes

Over the past few weeks, the /Film team has assembled personal lists of their favorite movies of the year so far, a look at where we stand halfway through the year. But those lists were also ballots, votes for one final article – a complete list of the entire site’s favorite movies of 2017 so far.

Of those six ballots (and 60 possible slots) contributed by Peter Sciretta, Jacob Hall, Ethan Anderton, Jack Giroux, Hoai-Tran Bui, and Ben Pearson, 28 films were named. And that brings us to the grand finale: the 28 best movies /Film has seen in the first half of this year.

Read More »

A Ghost Story Ending Explained

This past weekend, A Ghost Story joined the specialty box office line-up by hitting theaters in New York in Los Angeles before the Sundance selected drama from Ain’t Them Bodies Saints and Pete’s Dragon director David Lowery expands in the coming weeks. Having caught the film at Sundance, I can say you haven’t seen a movie quite like this before. However, the title might be a little misleading for those expecting a ghost story that’s more horror than thoughtful drama. Furthermore, the ending may leave many perplexed as the scope of the narrative expands and becomes something bigger than you’d expect.

Thankfully, director David Lowery was asked about the ending to A Ghost Story, and he was happy to provide a little more explanation for those who might be confused when the credits start to roll. If you haven’t see A Ghost Story yet, don’t read any further because there are spoilers abound, and you really should wait for clarification until after you’ve seen it for yourself, even if that doesn’t happen until it’s available on home video. Read More »

Best Movies of 2017

(With 2017 halfway over, the /Film staff will be spending this week compiling lists of the best movies they’ve seen this year. In order to be eligible for the list, a film they’ve seen simply has to have a 2017 release date, even if they saw it at a festival or early screening. Here are Ethan Anderton’s top 10 movies of 2017 so far.)

The year is officially half over, and while we have six months before we can more effectively determine what our favorite movies of the year are going to be, it doesn’t hurt to take stock of the best films of 2017 so far. Though 2017 feels like it’s been rather lackluster, especially in the blockbuster department, there have been some lower key releases that absolutely deserve your attention. A few of them haven’t been given theatrical releases yet, but I was fortunate enough to catch them at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

Without further adieu, let’s dive into my own list of the best movies of 2017 so far. Read More »

Brigsby Bear pic

The summer movie season is almost upon us. Comic book movies, reboots, spin-offs, and an unwanted sequel or two – they’re all coming out these next four months. We’re looking forward to more than a few of them, but I’m more hopeful for some of the movies coming to on-demand, steaming services, and local arthouse theaters this summer. Last week, we brought you the list of our most anticipated wide releases arriving this summer. And now, here’s the companion pieces: the 15 limited releases we’re most excited to see!

A few of the titles listed in our indie-themed 2017 summer movie preview below, including Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled, are set to go wide after a small launch. However, keep your eyes open – most of these movies may require you to actively seek them out…and a fair number of them will surely prove worth the effort!

Read More »

A Ghost Story Trailer

After director David Lowery was finished with Pete’s Dragon last year, he took the time to secretly shoot a film in Dallas, Texas throughout July and August. Production was completed in September, and the film had its world premiere at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, receiving plenty of acclaim. Now you can get a taste of what critics were raving about.

Fresh off their Best Picture win for Moonlight, A24 has unveiled the first trailer for their haunting indie drama A Ghost Story. This is truly one of the most unique films I’ve ever seen at a film festival, but it’s one that requires patience, an open mind, and plenty of afterthought. It’s difficult for a trailer to encapsulate the spirit of this mesmerizing movie, but hopefully it will be enough to help convince audiences to give it a chance.
Read More »

movies sold at Sundance 2017

A lot of films that premiere at the Sundance Film Festival are hoping to attract a distributor and find a wider audience, be it in theaters around the country or distributed through digital VOD. Throughout the festival, we will be reporting on all of the movies sold at Sundance 2017. This list should help give you an idea about which movies may someday be available to you either theatrically of VOD. These are the movies sold at Sundance 2017.

Latest update: IFC Films and Sony Pictures acquires Band Aid, Magnolia buys Fergeson documentary Whose Streets?.

Previous update: The Orchard and CNN Films acquire the endangered animal hunting documentary Trophy, A24 lands father/son drama Menashe, and The Orchard acquires the US documentary grand jury prize winner Dina.

Read More »

The Best Films of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival

Call Me By Your Name

The reviews have been filed, the awards have been handed out, and the stars and cinephiles have left Park City: it’s time to close the book on the Sundance Film Festival for another year. Last week we brought you our quick impressions of every single film we saw at Sundance 2017. Today we’re rounding out our coverage with a ranked list of our very favorite movies from the fest. Click through to find out what we loved.

Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

sundance 2017

The /Film team of Angie Han, Ethan Anderton, and myself have returned from the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Over the six days we were in Park City, we screened over 36 movies (with only one movie having been watched by all three of us). Here are 15-second capsule reviews of all the movies we saw at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

Read More »